The National Labor Tribune, November 18, 1906


Worchester, Mass., Nov. 18 – Pastor C. T. Russell, of Allegheny, preached here today in our large auditorium, "Mechanics' Hall," to a large audience. His discourse, "A Cure for Infidelity – To Hell and Back," was listened to most attentively for nearly two hours by nearly 2000 people. We report his evening discourse from the text, "Times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began." Acts 3:19-21

Few seem to realize that the doctrine of Evolution, which is spreading so rapidly amongst the most intelligent people, is diametrically opposed to the teachings of God's Word. Nor should it surprise us that linked with the doctrine of Evolution goes the higher critical view of the Bible – the refined and cultured way in which in our day infidelity is referred to and glossed over. With these teachings now entrenched in all the text books of the colleges, seminaries and high schools of the civilized world, it is impossible for the students to graduate except as they shall show themselves proficient in this fundamental error, which already has so largely undermined the divine revelation. It is safe to say that nine out of ten of all the graduates of theological seminaries are evolutionists and in full sympathy with higher criticism.

Thus infidelity has already grasped the pulpits of Christendom to such an extent that only here and there can a preacher of the gospel be found, one who believes in the Bible and its revelation, its good tidings. And these are considered by the associates in the ministry to be "back numbers" – "old fogy" – fools for Christ's sake – for the truth's sake. This falling away from the faith once delivered to the saints is freely predicted in the Scriptures, and is a marked sign that we are in the closing time of this Gospel age and close to the dawning of the Millennial epoch. Did not our Lord say, "When the Son of Man cometh shall he find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8)

Did not the Apostle Paul say, "Evil men and leaders astray shall wax worse and worse deceiving and being deceived?" (2 Tim. 3:13)

Did he not predict that in the end of this age the Lord would permit or "send strong delusions," that nominal professors, lacking the spirit of the truth, should be deceived, "that they might believe a lie," that they might all be condemned – that it might ultimately be seen that they were not at heart spiritual Israelites indeed, not therefore of the elect, and not therefore permitted to share in the highest salvation which God has provided for these? The Apostle tells us why this strong delusion is sent in the end of this age, why these are not protected from the delusion. He says that it is because "they received not the truth in the love of it, but had pleasure in untruth" – therefore they are ensnared by the error and stumble into unbelief. 2 Thess. 2:11 [NS427]


Through the prophet Isaiah the Lord pictures the end of this Gospel age and the very conditions which now surround us, and tells us the reason therefore. We quote, "The book is handed to one who is learned, saying, Read thou I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: Again it is handed to one who is unlearned saying, Read this, I pray thee; and he saith, I cannot for I am unlearned. Thus, saith the Lord, the word is become to all of you as a sealed book." The reason for this is stated, "Because this people draweth nigh to me with their lips while their heart is far from me." (Isa. 29:11-13)

The lesson for us is that God reveals the secrets of his Word and plan only to those who are of a contrite heart – to the honest hearted who love the truth, and who will hold to it at any cost of property or worldly prosperity or honor of men – esteeming the riches of Christ of greater value than all the treasure of the world. The prophet, picturing our day, shows the creeds in which many have been seeking to rest under the figure of a short bed and narrow cover. An intellectual babe might roll and crow and have abundance of room in such a trundle bed, but those of more developed mind, whose eyes of understanding are opening, find that the trundle bed of the past is too short and its covering too narrow. They cannot properly stretch themselves; they are cramped and uncomfortable in such beds; neither is the covering sufficiently ample that they may wrap themselves and feel comfortable and secure. The Calvanistic creed, for instance, as a sample of many others has become too short, too cramped. Intelligent people cannot continue to rest in its provisions and limitations. As taught in the creeds the doctrine of election at one time served to cover and satisfy those in the Westminster creed bed, but as their minds have grown, these are unsatisfactory and they feel that if only a handful are to be saved they are not certain that the handful will all be Calvinists, and moan, "'Tis a point I long to know."

Mark the words of the Prophet respecting the higher critics and doctors of divinity of our day, and their leaving of the Bible to follow the paths of science, falsely so-called, the path of the higher critics and evolutionists. He says, "Behold, I proceed to do a marvelous thing – a marvelous thing and an astonishment: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish and the understanding of their prudent men shall be buried." Isa. 29:14


The Bible does give some ground for supposing that the lower animals were developed to their various perfections somewhat along the lines of evolution. For instance, the statement that God caused the sea to bring forth fish of every kind. It is not said that God formed the fish and put them into the sea, nor that he formed any of the lower animals. Furthermore, this is not the question of contention by evolutionists. Their attack is upon man himself: their claim is that man sprung from the monkey, and that the monkey originally sprang from protoplasm.

Their claim is that these various steps of evolution have brought us as a race to our present condition, and that the process of development into gods is gradually going on. The Scriptural proposition is the very reverse of this. The Bible tells us that man was formed by the Almighty, was a direct creation and that he was made perfect and upright, the mental and moral image and likeness in the flesh of his Creator, the Almighty Spirit Being. Whoever takes the evolutionary theory must reject this statement, and hence the attempts of the higher critics to make the book of Genesis appear ridiculous and foolish and unreasonable.

But it is not the book of Genesis merely that would need to be demolished in order to support the evolution theory. The entire Bible speaks with one harmonious voice respecting the fall from divine favor and likeness into sin-and-death conditions. The Apostle tells us that sin and death began to reign in Adam's day and he explains the cause therefore saying, "By one man's disobedience sin entered into the world and death as the result of sin, and thus death passed upon all men because all have sinned. (Rom. 5:12)

Our Lord Jesus contradicts the evolution theory most emphatically in his statement, "The Son of man came to seek and recover that which was lost." (Luke 19:10)

The prophet David, picturing man in his original state, before sin entered, says, "Thou madest him a little lower than the angels, thou crownest him with glory and honor (God-Likeness), thou didst set him over the work of thy hands – all sheep and oxen, yea, the beasts of the field; the fowls of the air and the fish of the sea." Psa. 8:5-8

How could these testimonies of the divine Word be reconciled with the theory of evolution, even if the book of Genesis and its account of man's original perfection were blotted out of the Bible? Whoever is willing in his mind to contradict the Lord, the apostles and the prophets, and assume that the worldly wise men of our day are better informed and more authoritative teachers, let him honestly repudiate the Bible in toto, and acknowledge that if its teachers are unworthy of credence on this subject, they are unworthy of confidence on any subject; and that if the worldly wise, the higher critics, are authoritative on this subject, their wisdom should be recognized also in other directions, and they should make us a new Bible according to their own presentations, their own so-called scientific guesses [NS428] respecting the past and future. On the contrary, whoever has set to his seal that God is true, that Jesus is the Son of God, and that the apostles and prophets were the inspired mouthpieces, let such say to themselves and to others – We utterly repudiate this so-called wisdom of the world, and anchor our faith in the word of the living God – We abandon evolution as it relates to mankind in every sense and particular, and will hold fast to the Word of Life and to all the exceeding great and precious promises of the scriptures.


Those who will look at the subject from the Bible standpoint will see that its every teaching is in accord with its teaching of Adam's perfection and his fall. The penalizing of Adam's sins with the death penalty presupposes that the original sinner possessed intelligence of a high order, which would properly qualify him for a trial at the bar of God for either life or death eternal, and the death sentence corroborates the declaration of the Scriptures that Adam was disobedient in his trial. Thus the phenomena of death and mental, moral and physical impairment are all accounted for by the Scriptures through this doctrine of sin and its penalty.

Every person and every theory which in any sense or degree either repudiates or ignores this Scriptural teaching, that all men are sinners and that their dying condition is the result or penalty of sin, are surely, therefore, in error. In line with this we find the Scriptural doctrine of a ransom – that as sin and its penalty started in father Adam's disobedience and was inherited by all of his posterity, so God's provision for the future resurrection of Adam and his race made provision for their redemption. Thus the apostle states the matter, "As by a man (Adam) came death, by a man (Christ) also came the resurrection of the dead; for as all in Adam die, even so all in Christ shall be made alive," "every man in his own order." (1 Cor. 15:21-23)

If, as the evolutionists tell us, man is "falling upward," wherein was the justice of the divine sentence against him? Why should God speak of him as a sinner, a transgressor? Is it sinful to evolute upward? Surely not! Why should man be spoken of as under the curse or penalty for sin, since self-development is not sin?

Why should it be written that Justice demands a ransom price before Adam and his race could be released from the death sentence and be granted an opportunity for eternal life? Why did the Law given through Moses symbolize sin-offerings and divine propitiation through Day of Atonement sacrifices, etc., and the High Priest's services, if there was no fall, no sin, and no need of a redemption and sin-offering as a reconciliation to God? Why should the New Testament continue the same story of the necessity for the death of Jesus as the redemption price, that by his stripes we might be healed, that through the sacrifice of his life the world might be granted a resurrection of life in due time?

Why is the doctrine of the second coming of Christ and the resurrection so prominently before us in the Bible if there was no fall into sin and death, no need of a redemption, and no need that at his second coming the sins of the world shall be blotted out, and the world of mankind uplifted out of sin and death conditions back to full perfection of human nature and all that was lost in Adam? There can be no answer to these questions before an honest mind. The matter is a simple one: we must either reject the Bible doctrine of many s creation in perfection, his fall into sin and its penalty of death, his redemption by the precious blood of Jesus and his recovery by and by from sin and death and restoration to full perfection during the Millennial age at the hands of the great Redeemer, or, on the contrary, we must repudiate in toto all the theories of human evolution as being absolutely, unqualified, untrue, "Let God be true though it prove every man a liar." Rom. 3:4


The pity is that very few Christian people are aware that restitution is the Scriptural teaching respecting the future hope of the world. I am sure few if any of this audience ever heard a discourse from our text. In fact, experience proves that remarkably few ministers or laymen know that there is such a statement in the Scriptures – that God through the inspired Apostle declares: Times, years of restitution are just before us – to begin at the second coming of our Lord, and, as our context declares, are to be seasons of refreshing of blessing, of uplifting to the world of mankind.

Yea, notice that in our text the Apostle declares that all the holy prophets since the world began have foretold these coming times of restitution and blessing. Strange that for so long we have overlooked the teachings of God's Word, the real hope set before the world. The hope before the church, is a heavenly one, the prospect of a change from an earthly nature and conditions and surroundings to the heavenly, to be accomplished in the first or chief resurrection. The blessing promised to the world is not a change to another nature, but a restitution of the present human nature to its original condition and connected with this earth, its future home of paradise. Restitution, as all are aware, signifies the restoring or putting back to previous condition. It is consistent, therefore, that the Scriptures point out the glory of God exhibited in our first parents, lost through sin, redeemed by the precious blood, and assure us that ultimately [NS429] all the world of mankind who will render submission, to the voice of the Lord which they hear with the ears of their hearts, and be restored to all that was lost, to the full perfection and dignity of the human nature, the fleshly image of the divine nature. All of this restitution is predicted upon the fact that Jesus paid Adam's penalty and thereby attained the legal right to release Adam and all of his posterity from the death penalty by an awakening and a restitution, otherwise called the general resurrection, as the perfecting of the church is called her change, or the chief resurrection to glory, honor and immortality.


There is a reason why the Scriptural doctrine of restitution, spoken by the apostles and all the holy prophets since the world began, has been overlooked by theologians in general. For the same reason the doctrine of the second coming of Christ and the resurrection of the dead have lost their trust and power in the faith of Christendom. The reason is that false doctrines were added very early to and engrafted upon, the faith once delivered to the saints. These traditions of the ancients have largely made the Word of God of none effect in the minds of the people, have rendered many of the statements of the Scriptures unintelligible, and have prepared the masses of Christendom to believe a lie – the lie that is now being made so prominent, that death is not death, that there is a soul that cannot die, that there was no redemption from the fall, and that there will be no restitution.

This false doctrine is based on the human theory that a man does not die, that the soul cannot die. It is in complete opposition to the Scriptural declaration, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die," "the wages of sin is death." [Rom. 6:23]

"God is able to destroy both soul and body." [Matt. 10:28]

The theology that man when he dies is not dead but more alive than ever renders meaningless the doctrine of resurrection from the dead, and also the doctrine of the second coming of Christ for the purpose of resurrecting the dead and granting them blessed opportunities during "the times of restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began." [Acts 3:21]

This false doctrine that man is alive when he is dead is the basis for all the horrible teachings regarding purgatory, respecting the doctrine of prayers to the saints, supposed to be alive in heaven, when according to the Scriptures, they are dead and waiting for the second coming of our Lord and the resurrection of the dead. Note the Apostle Peter's statement on the Day of Pentecost – "David is not ascended into the heavens" (Acts 2:34); and if David has not ascended, why should we suppose that others of the prophets and saints, except the Lord, have ascended? Our Lord's word on this subject is, "No man hath ascended into heaven" – save the Son of man. (John 3:13)

Everything in the Scriptures agrees that the prophets of old as well as the Apostles, and all the faithful as well as the unfaithful, fall asleep in death and "know not anything" until awakening in the resurrection morning. (Eccl. 9:5; Job 14:12)

Hence Scripturally death is spoken of as a sleep, as when we read that Jesus said of Lazarus, "Our friend Lazarus sleeps," and afterward explained that in common parlance he meant that Lazarus was dead. Again of Stephen, the first martyr, it is written, "He fell asleep." [Acts 7:60]

The doctrine that the dead are more alive than ever before is responsible for many of the unreasonable views of the people now so generally entertained, even by some who were themselves Bible Students, but are now not, and who wrest the scriptures from their true import to conform them to one of the creeds of the "dark ages."

Let us go back to the Bible and common sense. Let us believe the record which God has given us of Adam's original creation in his likeness, of his fall into sin, of the share that we all as his race have in his imperfection and unworthiness; and then let us hope in the redemption accomplished by our Lord and in the resurrection of salvation from death as it shall finally be accomplished through his power: now the high calling of salvation to the church – and during the Millennial age the blessing of the world by restoration, restitution processes, which shall bring them back to all that was lost, plus valuable lessons in knowledge which will be to their eternal advantage. Let us see further God's reasonable provision that any who once really see and understand and appreciate the divine plan if they sin wilfully, deliberately, will become subject to the Second Death – utter destruction, from which there will be no redemption, no recovery by resurrection or otherwise.


Did time permit, it would afford us great pleasure to go through the various prophecies and point out wherein all the holy prophets have spoken of the coming times of restitution. Moses the prophet distinctly set forth that in due time He would send a greater one than himself, "A prophet like unto me," the Messiah, and that through him blessings more abundant would come – blessings of relief and uplift and succor, forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God. Peter quotes this in the words just following our text, and indicates that the fulfillment of it will be in the times of restitution, the times of refreshing and rejuvenation which God has proclaimed through all the prophets. Then, says the apostle, under those favorable conditions, "It [NS430] shall come to pass that the soul that will not obey that prophet, shall be utterly destroyed from among the people." (Acts 3:23)

God himself prophesied of these coming blessings of restitution, declaring to Abraham unconditionally, "In thy seed shall all families of the earth be blessed." [Gen. 22:18]

As the curse was death, the blessing of our Lord will be the reversal of the death and dying, namely, restitution to life. Job, a prophet, taught the restitution of all things in a figure, himself representing the human family losing all of his possessions – everything – and in God's providence, in due time, got back all that was lost, person for person, animal for animal. David the prophet over and over tells us about the blessings that shall fill the earth when Messiah shall reign, cause wars to cease, succor the poor and needy, and uplift the world out of degradation back to divine favor.

The prophets mainly refer to Israel when speaking of the restitution times; and without ignoring fleshly Israel and the blessings which will begin with them and extend to all the nations, we should not forget that Natural Israel was a typical people; that one of its tribes, the Levites, represented or typified Spiritual Israel with its Royal Priesthood, the Gospel Church, under the leadership of Christ, while the other tribes represented the remainder of mankind, who are to receive a blessing and instruction and .uplift through the priestly class, the Lord's people now being selected from among mankind. But doubtless all in this audience would be impressed more by the words of Jesus himself than by all the testimony of all the prophets.

Hearken, therefore, to the great Teacher, the great Prophet, telling of restitution. He spake through his subsequent mouthpieces, the apostles, to tell us through our text of the coming restitution times, and to tell us through the Apostle Paul that the whole creation is groaning and travailing in pain together waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God – when their groaning and travailing in pain shall cease, and when they, by the grace of God, by acceptance of his favors of the Kingdom, shall regain the liberty of the sons of God – freedom from sin and death – restoration to divine favor. Not only so, but in his own dark utterances with his own lips, he corroborated the testimony of the angels who announced his birth and who declared that it meant "good tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people." [Luke 2:10]

Our Lord told that he came to "seek and to save that which was lost;" he told how as the good Shepherd he was giving his life for the sheep, and as a result he would lead all of his true sheep, both of the present flock and of another flock yet to be called, to the fold. He told how he came "not to destroy men's lives, but to save them;" he pointed to his second coming as the time when he would reward the servants of this Gospel Age, the church, and that then he would set up his kingdom and give his faithful servants, the church, dominion over the world for its blessing and uplifting. He told how the time of blessing and uplift would not only be for the then living people, but also that all in their graves should hear his voice and should come forth, and that those who would hear in the sense of obey should live, ultimately be freed entirely from all the sin-and-death conditions of the present.


So prone are we to think of God as less merciful and less generous than ourselves instead of more so, that we are inclined to limit the gracious promises of his Word and to suppose that they are merely for the saints of this Gospel age. On the contrary, while the exceedingly great and precious promises are for the saints, there are other promises to the world in general which shall be theirs after the saints shall be glorified with their Lord. Whoever will read carefully and prayerfully and intelligently Rom. 11:25-32 will find distinctly stated the great blessings that are to come to natural Israel at the second coming of Christ; and after the church shall be glorified, that Natural Israel "shall obtain mercy through your mercy" – through the mercy of glorified Spiritual Israel during restitution times. But notice particularly a nation of the past, admittedly a very sinful nation, and see what our Lord declares to be their future prospects. He testified that all of the Sodomites were destroyed, saying, "Fire came down from heaven and destroyed them all." [Luke 17:29]

But he tells that in the Day of Judgment, the great Millennial day of his Kingdom, when the whole world shall have a judgment or trial of eternal life, the Sodomites will not be forgotten. More than that, it will be "more tolerable" for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of Judgment than for you – you of Chorasin and Bethsaida, who have had larger opportunities and have failed to profit thereby. But why should it be more tolerable for the Sodomites than for some others? Were they not wicked sinners? Our Lord testifies that they were sinful men. There is no excuse made for their iniquity, but he also testifies, saying, "If the mighty works that have been done in you had been done in Sodom and Gomorrah they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes." [Matt. 11:21]

Thus we see why it will be more tolerable for them in the Millennial day than for some who were more highly favored and who therefore sinned against greater light. Matt. 10:15 Turn now to Eze. 16:48-63. Hear what the Lord has said through his prophet respecting Sodom in the times of restitution – in the Day of Judgment – in the Millennial Day – under the reign of our Lord's Kingdom for the blessing and uplifting and trying and testing [NS431] of the whole world for life or death everlasting. The prophet declares the sin of the Sodomites, and his word agrees with our Lord's testimony that the Israelites were more blameworthy, and then he tells that in due time he will restore the Israelites, not for the merit or worthiness of either of them, but because of his own gracious plan and arrangements to give to all under the Millennial reign of Christ the fullest opportunity for knowledge and obedience and return to all that was lost and to life everlasting. Mark the words of the prophet and remember to associate them with Jesus' words respecting the same people, all of whom had gone into destruction, the tomb, the state of death, none of whom remained alive. He says, "This was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they committed abominations before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good." [Eze. 16:50]

God did not take them away and deliver them over to devils for their torture eternally, but he did rain down fire from heaven and destroyed them all. He made an example of them as evil doers, and they have been dead ever since, knowing nothing. And the moment of their awakening, when they shall hear the voice of the Son of man and shall come forth, will be to them the very next moment of consciousness to that one in which they "suffered the vengeance of eternal fire" from heaven. [Jude 7]

They will come forth to learn that they were redeemed from the death sentence and that while they will be held responsible for and suffer punishment for their wrong doing in proportion to their knowledge, nevertheless the Lord will be ready to help them out of all their difficulties and to forgive their transgressions and to remember their sins and their iniquities no more if they will render obedience to him and accept his offer of restitution, return to all that was lost in Adam and redeemed for them by the precious blood of Christ. Notice how the prophet continues and tells of the resurrection also of the Israelites and their unworthiness of God's favor, and then his concluding words, "Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant (the new covenant). Then thou shalt remember thy ways and be ashamed when thou shalt receive thy sisters, thine elder (Sodom) and thy younger (Samaria); and I will give them unto thee for daughters, but not by thy covenant. And I will establish my covenant with thee; thou shalt know that I am the Lord." [Eze. 16:60-62]

How wonderful it seems that we have overlooked such plain statements of the Word of God. Verily, our wresting of the Scriptures and turning of things upside down has resulted disastrously to us. It was unprofitable that we forced theological definitions upon such simple words as describe death, destruction, to make out that these simple words mean life in torment and everlasting suffering. Christendom has every reason to be ashamed of its neglect of the Word of God and its following after the traditions of the ancients and the philosophy of Plato and other sciences, falsely so called. Let us note now in conclusion the words of the Lord through Ezekiel to the Israelites respecting the effect of the outworking of his glorious plan of restitution. He says: "That thou mayest remember and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done saith the Lord God." [Eze. 16:63]

The National Labor Tribune, December 3, 1906


Pastor C. T. Russell preached Sunday afternoon at Carnegie Hall, Allegheny, to a large audience of about 600. His text was: "Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the Day of Atonement shalt thou make the trumpet to sound throughout all the land." Leviticus 25:9

Two months ago we considered together the typical and antitypical Atonement days. We see that the Jewish "Day of Atonement" in which the sin-offerings were sacrificed and the work of atonement for the sins of all the people was completed, typified this Gospel age, by the "better sacrifices" of which reconciliation is effected for the sins of the whole world. We saw that our Lord Jesus began these sacrifices by offering up himself without spot to God. We saw that on the basis of that sacrifice finished at Calvary believers throughout this age have been made acceptable to God, and have been permitted to be offered also as members of the body of Christ, "living sacrifices, holy, acceptable to God and their reasonable service." (Rom. 12:1)

We saw thus that the entire Gospel age has been the antitypical day of atonement, and that its close signifies the end of the Gospel age, when the last member of the body of Christ shall have suffered with him and shall also have entered into his glory, to participate in the glory, honor, immortality in the Kingdom of God, then to be established [NS432] under the whole heavens. Our text shows that our subject of today is closely identified with the Day of Atonement type, for the declaration is that the trumpet is to be sounded in the Day of Atonement. A trumpet symbolizes a public message, an open proclamation. The Jews had silver trumpets specially prepared for this particular service. For other matters they frequently used rams' horns for trumpets. But it was for the priests to blow on the silver trumpets on the Day of Jubilee, and then for each and all of the people who heard the silver trumpet sounding clearly and loudly to repeat upon the rams' horns and in every way they could the message which they heard, until starting from the Tabernacle or Temple it echoed over the entire land of Israel.


What did that Jubilee announcement signify to the Jew? We answer that it signified emancipation, freedom, liberty. According to the Law every fiftieth year was a Jubilee year, and in that Jubilee year every debt was cancelled, every property restored and all things throughout the nation of Israel came back to their original status. For instance, under their Law, if a man became involved in debt he and his children were obliged to make it good, even though it took all of their earthly possessions, and even though it involved their going into the service of the creditor. Thus a householder through a misfortune might be involved in debt so as to lose his entire estate and his own liberty and the liberty of his family.

Indeed some of the Israelites were born to a state of servitude because of a debt incurred by their father. But these debts, these obligations, all according to the Law, terminated, were cancelled in the Jubilee year. All reckonings were made as from that date or to that date. When that year came round, in the Day of Atonement and at its very beginning, the silver trumpet was sounded and then the rams' horns echoes of it were repeated, announcing to all Israelites that they were freed: that the year of release, of return to the former estate, was come; that they were no longer in servitude and that they could have back again all the fields and vineyards and everything that they had previously possessed and lost.

It can be readily understood that this year of Jubilee therefore meant much to every Israelite, especially to those who were impoverished through misfortune of any kind. True, all did not get back their possessions and freedom immediately – it required a little time and caused considerable confusion for the re-establishment of matters upon their previous basis. Then, again, all did not hear the trumpet at exactly the same time. The priests and Levites who were nearest to the High Priest, who blew the trumpet, heard first but ultimately the good tidings thus announced spread everywhere to every ear.


The fiftieth year in the type represented the Millennial age in the antitype, just as Israel's High Priest represented the household of faith and the consecrated ones of the present time. All the people of Israel represented all mankind who will ever come into harmony with God – all who will ever be blessed with the New Covenant, participating in the Jubilee blessings.

Be it noticed that the priests themselves did not share in the Jubilee blessings. The priests and the Levites had no inheritance in the land given to them, thus typifying the fact that the Royal Priesthood and spiritual Levites will in the future not have an earthly inheritance but a heavenly one. As the tribe of Levi surrendered its share in the earthly inheritance in order to be the Lord's special people, sanctified, separated to his service, so Christian people, spiritual Israelites, give up their interest in the world and all earthly prospects for the opportunity of becoming heirs of God, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ their Lord, to the inheritance that is incorruptible, undefiled, that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you who are kept in the power of God through faith and salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time." 1 Pet. 1:4, 5

The priests who blew upon the silver trumpets were disinterested, except as they possessed the spirit of love and devotion to their brethren and appreciated the divine arrangement made for their release from difficulties. And since the silver trumpets of Jubilee could not be sounded until after the sacrifices of the Day of Atonement had been effected, the implication is that not until the close of this Gospel age would it be proper for the Royal Priesthood to blow upon the silver trumpets of truth this message of the coming Jubilee – that the day of Christ is at hand, the day of the world's blessing and uplift, "the times of restitution of all things spoken by the mouth of the holy prophets since the world began." (Acts 3:19-21)

It was expected of the priests that they would be sympathetic with the people for whom they were appointed to minister and hence expected of them that they would have a grand share also in the rejoicing of the Jubilee year. The Apostle points forward to that glorious time of restitution when the Jubilee blessings will be brought to mankind during the Millennium: he says, "The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now – waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God." Rom. 8:19, 22

True many of the world of mankind, in their slavishness to sin and the weaknesses of that sin have entirely lost sight of the fact that there is a jubilee of blessing provided by the Lord; hence to many the sounding of [NS433] the Jubilee trumpet comes as an astonishment and surprise, and they need to inquire the meaning of it. Knowing the selfishness of fallen human nature we can readily surmise that when the trumpet of Jubilee would begin to sound and the people begin to inquire respecting its meaning, there would be a tendency on the part of masters of the situation to say to those under their control, "Pay no heed to that trumpet: go on with your tasks."

We can readily imagine, too, that some of those hearing the trumpet and learning respecting the restitution which is announced would be impatient of all restraint, that more or less of disturbance would thus be created throughout all the land, and that the disturbances would continue to a considerable extent until the readjustment of matters, until the forfeited land had been restored, until those in servitude had gotten their liberties, etc.


The world of mankind, the Scriptures tell us, were "sold under sin." [Rom. 7:14]

By his disobedience father Adam lost his liberty, lost his estate, for he was the king of earth. All of his children were born in sin, shapen in iniquity, and are therefore, as the Apostle declares, slaves of sin. Some have no knowledge of the coming times of blessing, release and restitution; others have more or less confused conceptions of a blessed time coming, which is frequently referred to, even by unbelievers, as the Golden Age, and by many Christians as the Millennium. Matters have gone on so long in this way that the Scriptures indicate that when the second coming of our Lord as an event at hand is proclaimed, and the Jubilee is announced as his great work of blessing the world, many will say, Where is the promise of his coming? for all things continue as they were from the beginning. (1 Pet. 3:4)

That is to say, the long period of the reign of sin and death and their ignorance of the divine plan leads them to suppose that God intends present evil conditions to last always; that people will always be born in pain and imperfection; that they will always live in sorrow and trouble, vexation and disappointment; that they will always need to battle with the world, the flesh and the devil, and that sin and death will always reign and the race of mankind as a whole be their subjects. Even some who are the Lord's true people have become so blind and deaf to his gracious promises that they are misled by such suggestions, forgetting the testimony of the Lord that the time is coming when all the families of the earth shall be blessed so that they will be no longer a groaning creation, but, on the contrary, God will wipe away all tears from off all faces, and cause the knowledge of his glory to fill the whole earth ocean deep. (Rev. 21:4; Isa. 11:9)

The result we are assured will be that there will be no more crying, no more sighing, no more dying, because all the former things will have passed away and he that sitteth upon the throne proclaims:

This overturning of the present institutions and making of all things new is the work of the Lord during the Millennial age – it is the work of reconstruction, the time of Jubilee, the time of joy. This is the first message of the New Testament sung by the angels, "Behold, we bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people" – not merely to the elect. True, the elect, the priests, the Levites, first hear the joyful sound of the Jubilee trumpet and first make it known to the people, but it is for all the people, for all the "families of the earth." [Gen. 12:3]

The making over of mankind and the thorough reconstruction of all the affairs of man putting all things back to the basis of love and obedience to God, will require the entire Jubilee year or Millennial epoch, and will be the work of Christ, the great High Priest, and his Royal Priesthood, the glorified Church. Making all things new is but another way of saying restitution or renewing, restoring. This making new, or renewing or restoring of the race, signifies the bringing back of whosoever wills into full harmony with the Heavenly Father, as Adam was. It means more than the bringing back to a heart harmony – it means the taking away of the stony heart out of the flesh as the Lord promises to do under the New Covenant arrangement. It means the bringing up of man out of his servility to sin and death, and from under his load of imperfections of mind and body, back, back to the original perfection, to the image and likeness of God, which Adam possessed in Eden before his transgression.


It was the Israelites who realized what they had lost in the way of liberty and possessions who would take the most comfort and joy from the sound of the Jubilee trumpet, and from the understanding that the time was at hand for a return to liberty and to inheritances lost. So it is amongst mankind – those who realize what they have lost can best appreciate the great blessing implied by this restitution trumpet message: nevertheless the blessing is coming to every member of the race, whether he has yet realized his losses and God's provision for him in the future or not. The assurance of the Scriptures is that in that glorious day when the trumpet shall have sounded and the work of restitution will have begun – then all the blind eyes shall be opened and all the deaf ears shall be unstopped. The majority then will begin to realize for the first time to [NS434] what extent they have been slaves of sin and receiving the penalties of their taskmaster, and will begin to glorify God on behalf of the liberty accorded them in the gracious arrangement for the Jubilee, the setting free, the emancipation. We can well imagine better than we can picture the joy of the whole earth as they shall begin to return to the inheritance of human perfection, mental, moral and physical, and to a repossession of Paradise. While Paradise, originally lost by Adam, was but a garden, a sample of what the world is yet to be under the restitution accomplished by the second Adam, the Paradise of the restored future is to be the entire earth. Heaven is God's throne, earth his footstool, and he has promised that he will make his footstool glorious. (Isa. 60:13)

The Millennial reign of Christ will accomplish all the wonderful things of restitution which the Lord has promised – blotting out sin and death and lifting the slaves of these gradually upward to the original perfection, and utterly destroying all who refuse to come into harmony with that righteous arrangement in the Second Death, from which there will be no recovery.


Some may say, Why did we not sooner hear the message of restitution this blowing on the silver trumpet, proclaiming Messiah's Kingdom and its glorious work for the race? We answer, because it was not due time to be blown, to be announced, to be proclaimed, until the closing of the Day of Atonement. Since this Gospel Age is the antitype of the Day of Atonement, this would signify that not until nearer the closing time of this age would it be the proper time to make this proclamation.

When the Lord makes a type it is significant in every particular. Now, therefore, this blowing of the silver trumpet of Jubilee and announcing Messiah's Kingdom and the blessing of the world is not only opportune as respects mankind in preparing them for what is coming, but it is also an indication that we are in the harvest or closing time of this Gospel age – it indicates that the time for sacrificing is about ended and the time for the Millennial glory and the blessing of the whole world with divine forgiveness under the New Covenant is just about to be ushered in. The announcement must precede the various steps incidental to the return of every man to his inheritance and estate.

Everywhere around us we find that the people are awakening to a consideration of what are their rights and liberties and how to obtain them. It is but natural that selfish minds should view every blessing from a selfish standpoint rather than from the divine. It need not surprise us then to find that many unjust, ungenerous views are held, not only by those who now possess the wealth and power and title of earth, but also by the masses, who feel that they have lost their inheritance in the earth – their proportion of it and of the blessings which flow from such possession.

This is leading many into Socialism, and eventually will undoubtedly lead the majority still further into anarchy, in a desperate effort to grasp for themselves the rights and liberties which they now perceive are the surplus and advantages in possession of the favored few. Our standpoint of view as Christians leads us to think less of these financial, political and social differences amongst men, and to think more of the great loss all have sustained through the fall. From our standpoint the chief bondage our race is under is that of sin and death.

These monarchs have usurped control of the race and enslaved it, and have by this time well-nigh destroyed in man the original likeness of his Creator, mentally and morally degrading some of the race almost to the level of the brute, and some, we might say, below that level. Glad we are that this great slavery will soon be at an end and that the King of glory will reign for the uplift of these slaves and the release of their fetters of weakness and heredity. The Apostle tells us what we may ultimately expect will come to all of the groaning creation if they will avail themselves of the blessings of this Jubilee time. He says, "The creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God." (Rom. 8:21)

Creation here does not refer to the lower animals, as Brother John Wesley suggested, for we find nothing in the divine Word to indicate either redemption or restitution for future eternal life for lower creatures. Man is the heir of all the blessings which God has promised through the redeeming blood although the lower creatures will undoubtedly profit by his restitution to perfection, even as in some respects they suffered from the fall of Adam their lord. Psa. 8:5-8


The Scriptures tell us of seven trumpets, symbolically seven messages, and the last of these seven is called the "trump of God," because it relates to the events of the great day of God Almighty. Thus the jubilee trumpet and the seventh trumpet, or the trump of God or last trump, synchronize, harmonize. To our understanding this trumpet or message is already sounding – it began in 1874 and will continue to sound, to be a proclamation of Jubilee to all who will come into harmony with God, for a thousand years. The effect of the trumpet on those who hear it varies. To some, full of plans and schemes of more or less selfish character, religious, political, social, the sound seems discordant; they are not prepared for the change of dispensation, and wish that it would tarry for a while until their [NS435] schemes could be perfected. But it will not tarry; it cannot be stopped; the great High Priest himself blows the trumpet. Opposition to the message can only work injury to the opposers, as it works blessing to those who hear it with joy and who co-operate with its sentiments and teachings. Opposers will find that they are fighting against God in trying to prolong the present dispensation, the present reign of selfishness and sin. The result, as the Scriptures clearly indicate, will be a great time of trouble such as was not since there has been a nation: in that trouble, by that trouble, all opposition shall be thoroughly broken down – "ground to powder," on the ruins of present institutions the Lord will erect his Temple and Kingdom, through which blessings shall flow as a river of water of life and the blessing of all the families of the earth. Then during the Millennial Kingdom shall go forth the message, the invitation, "The Spirit and the Bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Rev. 22:17

Prophetically we are told what will occur in the beginning of the sounding of the seventh trumpet – the Jubilee trumpet – "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying: The kingdoms of this world have become the Kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever. . . . And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead that they should be judged, and that thou shouldst have regard unto thy servants, the prophets, and to the saints, and to them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldst destroy them that destroy the earth." Rev. 11:15, 18


Those who do hear the message and whose hearts are in the right attitude towards the Lord that they are ready to rejoice in the truth and say, "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as in heaven," these will have a special blessing; for while they will indeed share with the world the troubles that are to close this age, they will at heart have what the Lord has promised, "The peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." [Phil. 4:7]

They will be able to rejoice even in the midst of tribulation, knowing that the tribulations are about to work out the great blessing which God has foretold. But we must not expect that many will have the ear to hear or the eye to see and appreciate the heights and depths and lengths and breadths of the divine plan. The heathen are totally blind as respects God's gracious plan and Christendom is practically blind – blinded by false doctrines and cruel absurdities handed down from the "dark ages."

Many Christian peoples, for instance, are so bent upon converting the world by these means, through sectarian methods, that they are quite unwilling to even consider the Scriptural teaching respecting how the Lord proposes to convert the world – through the time of trouble introducing the Millennial age and its glorious blessings and instructions to all the families of the earth. Through the prophet of old the Lord foretold the blessings of this time, saying, "O the blessedness of him that waiteth and cometh to the thousand three hundred five and thirty days" – to the autumn of 1874 A.D. (Dan. 12:12)

Ever since that time a growing blessedness has come to the Lord's people who are walking in the path of the just, which shineth more and more unto the perfect day. But, on the contrary, the confusion grows more and more tense for those who are still in Babylonish darkness and confused by the theories and creeds of the "dark ages."

It is high time that those who are awake should give ear to discern the voice of the High Priest speaking through the jubilee trumpet, announcing the end of the present dispensation, the inauguration of the New as being just at hand. Those who do not give ear will have their portion with the hypocrites, as our Lord declared, even though they be not hypocrites themselves, but true children of God. "Light is sown for the righteous and truth for the upright in heart," but if any man love not the truth, if he love sectarian error more, the light and blessing are not intended for him at the present time. He will need to pass through the great time of trouble, and there learn lessons which he is now refusing to learn.

"Blow ye the trumpet, blow
The gladly solemn sound;
Let all the nations know
To earth's remotest bound:
The year of Jubilee is come,
Returning ransomed sinners home."

"Ye, who are sold for naught,
Whose heritage was lost,
May have it back unbought,
A gift at Jesus' cost:
The year of Jubilee is come,
Returning ransomed sinners home."

The Lord, through the Prophet David, declares, "Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance." (Psa. 89:15)

This prophecy is being fulfilled today, for the Psalmist has reference to this very Jubilee trumpet and its message, and those who could hear and rejoice therein. David by inspiration, uses the very Hebrew word turnah, that was used by Moses in our text when speaking of the sounding of the Jubilee trumpet. This is not accidental, but of design, and constitutes [NS436] an attestation to us of the divine foreknowledge and arrangement of all the affairs of God's people, not only during this Gospel age, but also in respect to the coming blessings of Jubilee refreshment of all the families of the earth. Assuredly it is true that all who hear this joyful sound of good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people are blest and refreshed thereby. "Blessed is the people!" More and more as the trumpet is sounded the Lord's people who have the hearing ear throughout the whole world are being awakened and recognizing the Master's voice and the harmony of his announcement with that which was foretold. We have no fear that all of the world will hear this summons. But as we have already seen, some will be wise virgins and others foolish. The prophet declares that those who heard the message of this trumpet with joy "shall walk, O, Lord, in the light of thy countenance" – there the presence and favor of the Lord will be with them, their daily walk will be in accord with the divine will, for they are of the class which can say with the Master, "I delight to do thy will, O my God; thy law is written in my heart." [Psa. 40:8]

It is not given to others to fully, clearly, distinctly hear and understand and appreciate this Jubilee trumpet. Those who hear a little should at once permit that little to sanctify their hearts and separate them from the world and its spirit, that they may hear more and more distinctly, remembering the Scriptural declaration, "None of the wicked shall understand." (Dan. 12)

Let us who hear go onward day by day, blowing upon the silver trumpet and having this hope in our hearts, purify ourselves, as the Apostle declares, sanctify ourselves, even as he, the Master, is pure, that we may ultimately be counted worthy to share in his kingdom and glory through the riches of his grace.

The Pittsburgh Dispatch, December 10, 1906


ST. LOUIS, Mo., Dec. 9 – Pastor Russell of Allegheny, Pa., preached twice here today to large and attentive audiences. Twenty-four hundred persons heard him preach on the subject, "To Hell and Back," at Olympia Theater. Several hundred others were turned away. His morning discourse was from the text, "I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generations of them that hate me, and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments." (Deut. 5:9-10)

A report of the discourse follows: No one of intelligence can question the fact that our text is corroborated by all our experiences in life. However unjust some may claim it to be that the children should inherit the weaknesses resulting from parental dissipations and violations of the divine law, however atheism may question the existence of a God or infidelity doubt the inspiration of His Word, the facts remain. None can question the two facts of this text:

(1) That sin and its penalty can be inherited, and

(2) that God is merciful to such as renounce sin and turn to Him and seek to walk according to His direction. To whatever extent these blemishes upon evildoers and their children and these blessings upon welldoers and their posterity may be termed natural laws and laws of heredity, it does not alter the result, because the Almighty is the one who made these laws of heredity. Under the delusions handed down to us from the "dark ages" – that God had condemned to eternal torment all the children of men because of Adam's sin – we are all inclined properly enough to feel rebellious against any such decision or conclusion, and to assert that from the standpoint of human reasoning it would be entirely unjust to torture the posterity of Adam eternally for his transgression – "original sin."

But as we get the eyes of our understanding opened to see what is the real penalty for sin – that it is death, extinction, and that our perfect parents, fully informed respecting the divine will, were culpable, worthy of death – and when we learn further that whatever is enjoyed by Adam's posterity in the way of life (however disadvantageous the conditions) is that much of divine leniency and mercy, and comes that much short of being the full penalty, death, extinction – then we begin to see that life under any conditions and disadvantages is still a boon, better than extinction. When further we begin to learn of the divine arrangement by which the race was redeemed from the death sentence by the sacrifice of Christ, and that this redemption guarantees an opportunity for eternal life to every member of Adam's race, then we begin to reverence and adore the Creator as not only just in his sentence of death, but now revealed to the eyes of our understanding as merciful in providing for our recovery out of that death by a resurrection from the dead.


Recognizing the wrath of God as manifested in the death penalty (not in an eternity of torture) we can see [NS437] what the Scriptures everywhere declare, that the wrath of God is resting upon our race, that every member of it is subject to this penalty which came upon father Adam, and has been entailed upon all of His posterity. This is the curse, the condemnation everywhere referred to throughout the Bible. As we have previously seen, it is a death curse or sentence, but this includes all the incidentals leading up to death, such as mental moral and physical degradation. The Almighty Creator did not wait for us to cry out for His pity and compassion, but from the very beginning, foreknowing our fall into sin, he had the plan arranged for our redemption and ultimate recovery from this condition of wrath, curse, death.

We are informed that our Lord Jesus was the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world – in the divine purpose and arrangement – though only now being made manifest to the Church and shortly to the world. Thus viewed, there has been no injustice practiced against our race in allowing the children to share with their father Adam in his penalty. Rather they had esteemed it and do esteem it better than the sentence itself; and, furthermore, in the Lord's providences, the world's present experience in the fall – and later on in the recovery from the fall in the hands of the great Redeemer during the Millennial age – is to prove a lesson, a schooling, in the exceeding sinfulness of sin, which the race as a whole will never forget, and out of which many (now the Church, later on the world) will draw lessons of wisdom and grace. Looking still more deeply into the divine plan as it is revealed in the Lord's Word for those who are His, (Psa. 25:14) we find a particular reason why it was not only advisable but necessary that this law of heredity should operate in our race, even though it brought in its train a terrible list of experiences. The reason for this is based upon one element of the divine character – justice – the very element which at one time we supposed was violated by this law of heredity. As our eyes open to the teaching of the Scriptures we perceive that if God had not permitted His law of heredity to operate, but had permitted each individual of the race to come forth to perfection and to stand an individual trial, such as father Adam was subjected to, it would doubtless have meant that at least one-half of the race, possibly more, would have deliberately chosen a course of sin, as father Adam chose it.

To expect more than one-half to be obedient would be unreasonable. Rather from what we see about us in the experiences of life, we would have been apt to conclude that only a very small majority, perhaps one-tenth, would have been obedient to God, while the remaining nine-tenths would have been disobedient. Some might ask, would not even that have been better than the divine arrangement as we see it operating now, that the whole race should suffer for one man's disobedience? We answer, no! Not according to the testimony of the Scriptures. The Bible shows us that while this law of retribution has worked such terrible havoc in Adam and his race for now 6,000 years – while 20,000,000,000 have been born in sin and sorrow and pain, and after a few years of trouble have died in sorrow and pain – nevertheless, in God's due time all of these shall have more favorable opportunities of knowing God's true character and of attaining to a full character-development in His likeness during the Millennial age. This means that probably many more will gain eternal life and blessing under the divine arrangement, condemning all for Adam's sin, than if God had permitted each to be born in perfection and to stand his trial for life or death, as Adam did, and without a Redeemer and restitution possibilities.


A great economic law is connected with the divine arrangement: the condemnation of a race in one man's loins because of his transgression made possible the divine arrangement that a second man should pay the penalty for the first, and redeem both him and all who were in him at the time of his condemnation. This is at once a demonstration of divine wisdom and of divine justice. Suppose, for instance, that the law of heredity had not prevailed, had not been instituted by our Lord, but that each individual had come forth perfect and had been personally placed on trial and been personally condemned to death, would it not have required an individual savior for each one condemned under such an arrangement?

Surely it would. Hence, had one-half of the race proved themselves sinners and been personally condemned, it would either have been necessary to have avoided redemption altogether or to have redeemed the sinner half of the race at the expense of the righteous half – a perfect being's sacrifice for or instead of each imperfect life. Estimating the total number of our race at twenty billions justice would have been obliged to require ten billions of perfect beings to be offered as the ransom price for the ten billions of sinners. Under the very best estimation that we can possibly make, this would have required the death of all the perfect ones of the race as redeemers for all the imperfect ones, and what a havoc that would have implied – with just as many dying as under present conditions, namely, one-half as sinners, the other half as redeemers, ransoms. Besides, we perceive that it would not have been just on the part of the Almighty to have compelled the righteous ones to suffer for the unrighteous as their redeemers – hence there would have been no assurance even then that any but a fraction of the sinner race would have been redeemed. On the contrary, how wise, [NS438] conservative and economical was the divine arrangement that by one man's disobedience under the laws of heredity the many would be born sinners and sharers in his penalty, death; and that then in due time one Savior, one perfect one, the "Man Christ Jesus," might redeem Adam, and, redeeming him, redeem all of his race from the death sentence, the curse, the wrath of God, and as a result of the redemption obtain the right, the authority, the power during His Millennial Kingdom, and in association with His glorified Church of the Gospel age, to bless all the families of the earth, and to uplift as many as would be willing out of all their ignorance, weakness and sinful and dying conditions to all that was lost in Adam. We have seen that in harmony with the divine law it would not have been just for the Heavenly Father to have obligated the righteous to die for the sinners, and that hence the redemption of the sinners would have been problematical – very doubtful. But, on the contrary, the Heavenly Father well knew in advance the loyalty of His first-begotten, His only begotten, who is declared to have been the "beginning of the creation of God." (Rev. 3:14)

He knew not only of His loyalty, but that His experiences with Him in glory would every way qualify Him for the tests and the sacrifices necessary for the redemption of the race with His own precious blood. The Scriptures assure us furthermore that the Father set before Him some certain joys, certain blessings, certain promises, in connection with this work of man's redemption: as we read, "Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is now set down on the right hand of the Majesty on high." Heb. 12:2


We are to remember, too, that the Scriptures distinctly teach that the affairs of our world, sin, retributive punishment, the redemption through Jesus, the call of the Church and their sufferings with their Redeemer, and the promises of future blessing and glory both for the Church and for the world, are subjects in which the angels of God are interested. As the Apostle Peter says, "Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently ... Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow... Which things the angels desire to look into." (1 Pet. 1:10-12)

They wondered when all the sufferings of Jesus and the Church would be completed, and when the glory time would come and recovery from sin and death conditions – when God's purpose would thus ripen and bear fruit in the recovery of those who fell from His favor in Adam's disobedience, but were redeemed by the precious blood. The great lesson of what constitutes disobedience, and how serious a sin it is and what it would lead to if allowed to take its course, was illustrated in man's experiences, and all the hosts of angels looked on with amazement, no doubt. God's justice was fully demonstrated in the infliction of the death penalty and the permission of its inroads upon the mental, moral and physical perfection of His creatures, bringing many of the race down almost to brutality. God's love was manifested in the gift of His Son, in the arrangement of His plan by which, for the joy set before Him, Jesus might become Adam's Redeemer, the Bridegroom of the elect Church, and ultimately the great King of Glory who, during the Millennial Age, is to restore, revive and bless and test Adam and all his race.


We cannot wonder if all the holy angels looked on in amazement as they beheld the only begotten son of God leave the glory which He had before the world was and humble Himself to take human nature – to be born a man that He might redeem Adam and his race. It must have seemed wonderful to them, not only that the Heavenly Father would arrange such a plan, but wonderful also that the glorious "Only Begotten," "FirstBorn" should be the one to whom the proposition would be made, to show His faith and love for the Father, to do His will to the extent of such a sacrifice, not only of glory but eventually of life.

They had yet to see a further operation of the divine law of retribution operating in Jesus for His blessing and honor. So intent were they in looking at the humiliation of the Only Begotten and then at His death that apparently they did not so carefully note the fact that the Heavenly Father had set before Him great joys – great blessings, great exaltation, when He should have finally finished His work. Already the Only Begotten was next to the Father in glory and dignity, honor and power – what more of divine honor could have been bestowed upon even "the First Born of every creature?" The Only Begotten Himself appears not to have thought particularly of the promised glory.

The joy set before Him, however, seems to have been that He would do the Father's will and thus demonstrate His absolute loyalty even unto death. While no doubt it was a joy to the Lord to be the Father's agent in the rescue of Adam and his race from sin and death, nevertheless we believe that his chief joy in connection with the matter was that thus he might demonstrate to the Father his absolute love by his submission and obedience. Our Lord's own words were: "Father, glorify thou Me with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was." (John 17:5)

He knew [NS439] of the Father's proposed high exaltation of Him as a reward, but He did not mention this; He would merely ask of the Father that when He had accomplished the divine purpose He might have back the same honor and position and divine favor which He had laid aside when He humbled himself to become Adam's redemption price, the world's savior. Such modesty and loyalty are difficult for us to comprehend because of our fallen, imperfect conditions. But the Apostle explains to us, speaking under the power of inspiration, that because of our Lord's obedience in leaving the glory, becoming a man and dying for our sins – therefore God hath highly exalted Him and given Him a name above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and every tongue confess of things in heaven and things on earth. (Philip. 2:10-11)

Elsewhere in the Scriptures we are assured that our Lord became partaker of the divine nature in His resurrection; that thus He attained a reward far above anything that could have been thought, not only above angels, but also far above His own pre-human condition. In thus rewarding the faithful the Lord is carrying out the spirit of our text – He has been exemplifying what is otherwise taught in the Scriptures – "whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap." (Gal. 6:7)

Adam sowed disobedience and he and his race have reaped a terrible harvest of degradation, suffering and death. The Only Begotten sowed obedience, as prophetically expressed of Him at the time of His baptism: "I delight to do Thy will, O my God; Thy law is written in My heart." (Psa. 40:8)

Laying down His life in harmony with the divine program was His sowing, and the reaping at the resurrection was glory, honor and immortality, the divine nature. How richly Jehovah rewards every demonstration of loyalty to Him and the principles of righteousness! The same principle of retribution, good and evil, is manifested in God's dealing with His people during this gospel age. Those who follow in the footsteps of Jesus and lay down their lives in harmony with the divine plan and co-operation in the same are promised not only peace and joy and love and the holy Spirit in this present life, but that by and by they shall be joint-heirs with their Redeemer and Lord in His kingdom glory as His Bride. But those who sow sparingly, the Apostle assures us, will reap sparingly; those who sacrifice little will get a smaller blessing, and proportionately those who sacrifice nothing have neither part nor lot in the call of this present time, while those who, on the contrary, sow to the flesh may expect to reap corruption, death – the Second Death.


We have already seen that this law of retribution has operated in our race as a whole, bringing all under condemnation. We are all witnesses that it operates with greater intensity upon each individual according to his will, desire, intentions. Those who wilfully, deliberately violate conscience and the laws of nature step onward in the downward way, increase their difficulties. Every evil thought, every evil word, tends to break down the moral and physical degeneration, disease, imbecility, etc. On the contrary, those (outside the church, the world, heathen) who recognize with more or less clearness the principles of right and wrong, justice and injustice, receive under this law of retribution a measure of blessing, their mental, moral and physical fibers may be somewhat strengthened, and their characters and dispositions considerably rectified, to their comfort and advantage even in the present life.

In the life to come, after being awakened from the sleep of death, during the Millennial age or times of restitution, this law of retribution will still be enforced. When the eyes of understanding of all shall be opened and the clear light of truth shall shine upon all, the willing and obedient will quickly come into divine favor and receive the more abundantly of the restitution blessings, while those who in any measure or degree shall resist the light of that glorious day will make correspondently slower progress toward the full protection it offers, and those who persist in their opposition shall ultimately be destroyed in the Second Death. Furthermore, the Lord intimates clearly that the conduct of the present life, in either upbuilding character or deteriorating it, will mean proportionately more or fewer "stripes" in the life to come.

Those who knew the Master's will and did it not will be beaten with many stripes; they by reason of the breaking down of their characters and the greater demoralization of their consciences and powers will need and proportionately receive that much more chastisement from the corrective rod of discipline during the Millennial age than if they had taken the opposite course of living in accord with their consciences. The Lord declares that those who have sinned with little knowledge will receive proportionately fewer stripes. (Luke 12:47-48)

And this also is what we should expect under the divine law of retribution and compensation. There is a force and power in this teaching of the Scriptures respecting a future retribution with which the present life has to do, and which mean greater or less stripes or corrections by and by in proportion as the individual has been faithful to present responsibilities and light – there is a force in this that does not attach itself to the ordinary and unscriptural teaching that all who do not gain the prize of eternal glory now offered to the Church, the saints, will share alike in an eternity of torment, unthinkable and untellable [NS440] in cruelty and atrocity. Let us hold fast to the teachings of the Divine Word: let us remember that error never does sanctify, that our Lord presented the correct thought in His prayer, "Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy Word is truth." John 17:17

The Apostle, addressing those who recognize the distinction between believers and unbelievers, the justified and unjustified, calls attention to the fact that the children of believers, especially where both parents are of the consecrated or saintly class, should be considered as sharers with them in their justification, in their reconciliation to God.

This would apply only until such time as, having reached the age and development of personal responsibility, they should either endorse the faith of the parents or by slighting it shall take their stand in opposition with the world. Supposing that all would recognize this fact the Apostle points us to an item which might cause confusion to some. The question relates to those children, one of whose parents is a consecrated child of God and the other an unbeliever, and is, What would be the relationship of such children to God?

Would they be counted as unbelievers because one of the parents was an unbeliever, or would they be counted as coming under divine protection and care because one of the parents was a child of the Lord? The Apostle settles this question and assures us that whether it was the father or mother who was a consecrated child of God, the children would be reckoned as his or hers, and therefore in relationship to the Lord, covered with the merit of Christ's righteousness, and under the special providential guidance of the Lord until years of judgment should be reached. Thus we see in operation the same principle that was applied to Adam and his children when he sinned; they were counted with him. And now, since the redemption price has been paid, anyone who becomes the Lord's is counted as having passed from relationship to Adam into relationship to God through Christ, and his children are counted thus also – in relationship to God during their minority.

The portion of our text which declares that the Lord shows mercy unto thousands is applicable to the present as well as to the future life. God shows mercy unto thousands under sentence of death in that, under present conditions, He permits and arranges that the sun shall shine and the rain shall fall upon the evil and upon the good, upon the just and upon the unjust. To those who have the eyes of understanding to appreciate the teachings of the divine plan of the ages, God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them, but imputing them unto Christ. True, this Scripture is a comprehensive statement, covering the Lord's favor to believers in this present time, and as well His ultimate favor to all the families of the earth during the times of restitution, the Millennial age. Let us, however, subdivide these blessings that we may appreciate them more fully, thus: God in the present life shows mercy, and all who have the hearing ear may now hear His voice "speaking peace through Jesus Christ our Lord."

By faith these may now understand that God has graciously forgiven them for Christ's sake. The ears of such believers throughout this Gospel age have heard the Father's invitation of divine mercy that they may become associated with Christ as members of His body, members of His church, members of His bride; and that the terms or conditions upon which they may thus become associated are that they shall make a full surrender of themselves, minds and bodies, to Him and under His direction.

This step of consecration or sanctification having been taken, its reward has followed forthwith, namely, the begetting of the holy Spirit – that such should be new creatures in Christ Jesus, changed now as respects their wills, their hearts, and to be fully changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, in the resurrection early in the millennial morning. True, these like their Master are expected to prove, to demonstrate, their loyalty to the Lord and the principles of righteousness at any cost, even unto death; but even here the Lord's mercies are with them, for they would be insufficient for such things except as grace sufficient would be supplied them through the Redeemer and by the holy Spirit.

While they follow their Leader, their Lord, their Redeemer, and seek to walk in His steps through the valley of the shadow of death, they will have His companionship all the journey through; He will lead them by the green pastures and still waters of the divine promises, giving them meat and drink in due season, and finally bring them to the heavenly fold and the glory of the Father's house. That these should be made partakers of the divine nature with Jesus will certainly be an astonishment to both angels and men, and a fresh evidence of the wisdom of complete faith in God and absolute obedience to His arrangements. But God's mercy is not confined to the little flock nor to the present life, the present age – we have His testimony through the prophet that "His mercy endureth forever."

It does not surprise us then to find that the mercy of the Lord will be world-wide and ocean deep for all the race of Adam during the millennial age – not for those who shall remain in alienation and opposition when the eyes of their understanding are opened in the millennial age; but He will show mercy unto thousands [NS441] and myriads of those who then see His glory, taste of His goodness, accept of His favors and come into harmony with Him. O, the riches of the grace both of the knowledge and wisdom of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! (Rom. 11:33)

"The secret of the Lord is with them that reverence Him, and He will show them His covenant." Psa. 24:14

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